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Should Hollywood cast White actors in historically Black roles?

A scene from "Exodus: Gods and Kings" -  Moses (Christian Bale) and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton)
A scene from "Exodus: Gods and Kings" - Moses (Christian Bale) and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton)

Happy Sunday, dear readers! Today, we're going to take a look at opportunities for Black actors, specifically we're going to explore if Hollywood is guilty of casting White actors in historically Black roles. Exhibit A: Exodus: Gods and Kings, slated for release December 12th, directed by Ridley Scott, and staring Christain Bale as Moses and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as Joshua. Many of the Black actors play thieves and servants. (Scott is reportedly working on another Biblical epic, about King David.)

DC Actors Examiner put the question "Is Hollywood guilty of casting White actors in roles depicting historically Blacks characters?"to many actors in the DMV, and got several interesting responses! Read and learn!

Mitch Marvel "I don't know if there is such a thing anymore as any kind of 'traditional' role anymore. Marvel cast black actors as both Nick Fury in the Avengers movies and as Heimdall in the Thor movies. It seems to be in vogue now to switch up races and genders now (like having a female Thor and Black Captain America in the comics)."

Jace Nicole "As offensive as this....why aren't more black actors saying NO, I WILL NOT play these roles. Without willing actors, no parts would be filled. And clearly no one held a gun to the black actors heads who signed on for these slave/bad guy roles...The black community needs to stop saying 'Yes' & signing on to do these type roles all in the name of a paycheck. Just something to think about."

Kelvin Drama "I won't be supporting this movie. I guess there isn't enough Black actors out here. Hollywood will continue, to blatantly, miscast these films, as long as we allow it and support it. SMH!"

Jimmy Santos "Moses wasn't black, nor was Joshua. He was Jewish, Arab-looking probably."

Josemaría Pineda-Fernández "Regardless of the color of any character's skin, the stereotyping in this [cast] cast list is awful. Why do people of color constantly get shoved in servant/theif/murderer or other low position roles? Mean while, non-POCs get to play the hero/monarch/lover? It's a horrible practice that just needs to end."

Jeremy Keith Hunter "Of course Hollywood is guilty of it. They don't know any better. Its just the societal norm in this world. There are no black super heroes, history has no black kings and queens. and even when they do, they're barbaric, wild, and unpopular. its not their fault though. Just remnants of a system instituted by their ancestors. It'll change one day. Try not to get to worked up about it."

Jimmy Santos "[Sigh] it's not Hollywood's fault. It's the public's fault. The American (white) people wanna see white actors in the main roles and so Hollywood casts white actors. That's what sells so that's what Hollywood does."

Souleye Cisse"I know it's harder for black actors to get roles but still, you gotta stand up for something. If all black actors spoke with one voice, Hollywood would take notice. It's a matter of conscience.

If American (white) people wanted to see white actors, Will smith or Denzel Washington would never be mega stars. It's a stereotype that the media either created or helped create. There needs to be something to break the cycle. The racist stereotype exists in the media, the workplace, in fashion in politics and in society at large."

Jimmy Santos "Stop blaming the Media. Will Smith and Denzel Washington are the exceptions and any how, a lot of Denzel's success came from acting in "black" movies. Also, while Denzel and Will Smith are mega stars, they were surrounded by white co-stars. In any case, if Black actors like Denzel and Will Smith can be mega stars then that kinda disproves the whole racist stereotype thing huh?"

Skinny Corleone "Hell yeah they [Hollywood] do [cast White actors in traditionally Black roles]. Just to keep white washing the minds of the sheeple"

Tom Townsend "I'm surprised that folks in the biz don't know how things work. The only color is Green. I don't think anyone would spend a hundred million dollars just to be racist. They wouldn't do anything that is not profitable. So boycott the film and when they realize this ain't going to fly anymore and they lose money it will happen no more. I wonder if a Black actor playing Capt America will draw the same questions and upset people. I for one won't complain as my heroes are based on caring more for others then themselves."

Claudia Kastellanos "People talk of poor casting choices in indie often enough and Hollywood isn't setting a good example to follow lately either. I read of the role of Tiger Lilly going to a girl who doesn't look very Native American a few months ago. Are we racist to want to see more ethnic actors instead of white actors playing these types of exotic roles? No. I think Hollywood wants to try to push certain actors into roles to appear more exotic to the audience but they just cast mostly who has been popular. Hollywood lately often cuts corners on authenticity and creativity in the face of their almighty dollar - it's sad. I say really bring out the history in a film as best you with casting so it can thrive and breathe."

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